Wheless Partners Finds CEO for Rainy Lake Medical Center

Wheless Partners CEO Rainy Lake Medical Center

July 18, 2018 – Following a national search, executive recruitment firm Wheless Partners has placed Robert Pastor as the new CEO of Rainy Lake Medical Center, a level 4 trauma center and community health organization in International Falls, MN. Bonnie Erickson, who served two stints as CEO, will be retiring at the end of August.

“After an exhaustive search to meet the requirements of the search committee, Mr. Pastor rose above the other candidates in many areas of expertise,” said Cindy Chandler, managing partner at Wheless Partners. “We are pleased he has been selected as the CEO to take Rainy Lakes Medical Center into the future.”

Mr. Pastor brings significant leadership, hospital care delivery and operations experience to his new job. He has a track record of creating highly engaged teams, partnerships, improving efficiency, patient quality and satisfaction scores, in addition to increasing revenue and financial performance of his organizations, said Wheless Partners.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to attract someone with his caliber, track record and further potential,” said Susan E. Congrave, chair of the medical center’s board of trustees. “We look forward to working with him and the executive team over the next few years to continue the exceptional growth of our business.”

Veteran Healthcare Executive

Mr. Pastor was previously at Southwest Health in Platteville, WI, where he served as chief clinical officer and was responsible for the direction and management of all patient care service areas including radiology, laboratory, rehabilitation services, EMS, pharmacy, risk management, performance improvement/quality, care management, diabetes education and all organization nursing service departments. Prior to that, he served as director of hospital nursing services at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby, MN. He has also held leadership positions with hospitals and medical centers in Mississippi, Texas and Michigan.

“It’s a great honor to lead a hospital with such a rich history and commitment to providing exceptional, personalized care and to improving the overall health of the community,” said Mr. Pastor. “A big thanks to Wheless Partners for making it happen.”

A Qualified Recruiter

Wheless Partners, founded in 1986, conducts management, executive and board searches across all industries and functions. It also handles succession planning, talent mapping and interim executive solutions, among other services. The firm has worked with Fortune 500 companies, mid-size operations, leading public and private institutions, investment portfolio companies, not-for-profit foundations and start-ups. Wheless Partners has offices in New York, Atlanta, Birmingham, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver and San Francisco.

Ms. Chandler has served clients in a wide array of industry sectors including healthcare, non-profit, manufacturing, financial services and consumer products, delivering top-tier leadership in the functional areas of finance, human resources, senior management, sales and marketing, communications, operations and more. In 2016, the firm that Ms. Chandler founded, Chandler Group, joined forces with Wheless Partners.

Healthcare Recruiting

Healthcare is among the most rapidly growing employment fields, according to analysts at Hunt Scanlon Media, which tracks trends in the executive search and leadership solutions space. A number of healthcare organizations have turned to executive search firms to find new leaders in recent months. Here’s a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Cejka Executive Search recruited current Swift County Benson Health Services leader Kurt Waldbillig as the new CEO for Meeker Memorial Hospital & Clinics in Litchfield, MN. “After an exhaustive search process, the board is pleased to have found the best individual to lead this strong, independent and financially successful organization into the future.”

B.E. Smith recently placed Bob Sutton as CEO of Avera Health, a faith-based health system out of Sioux Falls, SD. “We narrowed the field down to several outstanding candidates, from both inside and outside of Avera,” said Mary Kay Panowicz, Avera System members chair and chair of the CEO search committee. 

Howard Fischer Associates placed Nassar Nizami as chief information officer of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “At a time of immense change in healthcare, we’re delighted to welcome Nassar as a leader for Jefferson’s focus on innovation, technology, and informational science,” said Stephen K. Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson.

Dallas-based executive search firm Southerland Partners placed Gerard J. Colman as CEO of Baptist Healthcare System Inc. in Louisville, KY. Keith Southerland, the search firm’s managing partner, led the assignment. Southerland Partners specializes in recruitment for complex integrated delivery systems, academic medical centers, children’s hospitals and payer organizations.

Phillips, DiPisa & Associates, an executive search firm serving the healthcare sector, has placed Matthew Cox as the senior vice president and CFO of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI. Partner Michael Corey led the assignment. Mr. Cox will lead the finance team and assume financial responsibilities for Spectrum Health and its subsidiaries.

Furst Group recruited Michael McHale as the new president and CEO of TRU Community Care in Boulder, CO. Headquartered in Chicago, Furst Group focuses exclusively on the healthcare and life sciences sector. The firm is led by co-founders Bob Clarke, CEO, and Sherrie Barch, president.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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